Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar on Tuesday claimed she was insulted in the Congress and wondered how the grand old outfit could do good for the nation when there was "no freedom to speak the truth" within the party.
She accused the state unit of the Congress party of "impaired" cognitive functions while reacting to an alleged remark, reportedly made by some inthe Tamil Nadu Congress Committee that she was seen merely as an actor during her entire six year stint in the party.
Speaking to reporters at the airport on her arrival in Chennai from Delhi following a warm reception accorded by Bharatiya Janata Party workers, she said she was prompted to respond insuch a fashion in view of strong remarks made against her for leaving the party and joining the BJP.
"The people who made such remarks in state Congress had no capability to ponder on the reason for people quitting the party and accused them of impaired cognitive functions. There is no respect for people in the party and those who quit," she said.
A day after joining the BJP, Sundar said though the Congres set in motion initiatives like the Goods and Services Tax while it was in power, it was keen on only finding faults, be it the tax reforms or the farm laws of the Centre just for the sake of opposing the saffron party.
Even while she was in the Congress, the actor said she had welcomed the National Education Policy and abolition of the triple talaq.
"I was insulted (in Congress party) and not invited for party events. I used to get to know about programmes only after seeing newspapers," she claimed addressing her maiden press conference at the BJP's Tamil Nadu headquarters 'Kamalalayam' in Chennai.
Despite such an ambience, she remained committed to the Congress till she quit it, she said.
On Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief K S Algiri saying that there was no loss to the party because of her exit, she said the TNCC would realise "what they lost" in due course.
She joined the BJP at Delhi on Monday after quitting the Congress, where she had been its national spokesperson for six years.
Pointing to leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the Congress and the party "sidelining 23 leaders", who wrote to top leader Sonia Gandhi recently, she asked: "when there is no freedom to speak the truth within the party, how then could one expect it to do good for the country?"
Asked on her taking part in a recent protest in Chennai over the Hathras case and attacking the BJP, she said at that time she was in the Congress and hence toed the party line and she was also requested by office-bearers in Delhi.
To a question on switching loyalties between one party to another, she said she would stay put with the BJP for all time.
From 2010 to 2014, she was with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Known for her views espousing the rights of women, the actor said she continued to remain a "Periyarist" (follower of social reformer and rationalist Periyar's ideology) as she would go on to champion the cause of women.
She said Periyar fought for the rights of women and oppressed people, including Dalits and to be a Periyarist, there was no need to subscribe to all of his ideologies, seen as a reference to his commitment to atheism.
Also, she said the BJP as well stood for the rights of women and Dalits.
To a question, she said just because that she has joined the party she did not expect the organisation to field her in elections (Assembly elections next year).
"I leave it to senior party leaders," she siad.
Asked about claims that she joined the BJP only because of her husband Sundar C's persuasion, she dismissed it and asserted that she came to the party on her own for doing good to people and not expecting anything.